June 2001

FDC, Hardware for free(nearly)

We are pleased to announce the launch of the FrontBase Developer Connection (FDC). The FDC has been designed to provide developers with a complete package for developing FrontBase solutions. This includes fully licensed product, an annual support contract and the definitive SQL92 guide. Not only does the FDC provide you with all the tools you need to develop and deploy a FrontBase solution, but it also provides you with an exceptional incentive program. Basically, every purchase you make with FrontBase generates points that you can use to purchase products from the Apple store. For more details of the FDC, please mail

Review of the Month

FrontBase Server

The past month has seen a new release of FrontBase, which now takes us to version 2.24 on most platforms. Version 2.24 is a maintenance release, which incorporates fixes for several minor bugs that have been reported to us. As we always recommend when there is a new version available, try to upgrade as soon as you can. We have improved upon our connectivity support on a number of different drivers this month. This includes new releases of plug-ins for Omnis Studio and REALBasic more about these later in the driver's section.

WWDC - San Jose, CA

We had a large presence at the recent Apple Worldwide developers' conference in San Jose California. This gave us the opportunity to meet long-standing FrontBase friends, and also preach the word of FrontBase to a new audience. Probably the highlight of the week was the first public appearance of the new FrontBaseManager for OS X. FrontBaseManager was previewed at the Stepwise Birds of a Feather sessions by Luke ADamson who runs the FrontBase tools division from our Seattle office. FrontBaseManager has been specifically written for OS X, and is a fully multi-threaded and multi-processor application. Aside from adopting the Aqua look of OS X, it incorporates many new features from FBManager, including instant Drag and Drop. Expect FrontBaseManager to be available during Q3.

Geek Week 6 - Long Beach, CA

At the same time as WWDC, the great and the good of the Omnis Studio world came together for their annual North American developer conference in Long Beach California. FrontBase were present on the last day of the event presenting our products to the Studio community. Geert Clemmensen presented a couple of sessions on FrontBase that appear to have been very well received. We also had Larry Barcot on hand to answer developers' questions on product and pricing. Having recently produced a DAM (Data Access Module) for Studio to FrontBase, we are keen to help the community along the road of data migration to FrontBase. You can find more details of the DAM in the Drivers section.

FrontBase out and about

We are going to be demonstrating FrontBase at several different venues over the coming weeks and months. Below you will see details of some specific dates. We are also currently in the process of arranging additional events over the summer months in Europe. More details of these will be available as soon as dates and venues are agreed.

Macworld Conference and Expo - New York, NY

FrontBase will be exhibiting at MacWorld, which is being held at the Jacob K. Javits Center. We will be present from the 18th to 20th July at booth 1936. So if you're in the neighborhood then please drop in and see us.

Apple Expo 2001 - Paris, France.

We will also be exhibiting at Apple Expo 2001, which is being held at Paris Expo in Hall 4. The event will take place on the 26th to 30th September, and you can find us on stand C33.

Drivers, Plug-ins and Dams

The FrontBase drivers' team has been hard at work on improving and developing the range of drivers for use with FrontBase. The past month has seen the release of brand new drivers, as well as on going development work on existing drivers.

REALBasic Plug-in.

This month has seen the release of a plug-in for REALBasic. The current version of this plug-in is 1.3 and is available for download under the tools section of our download page. The plug-in supports Mac OS 8,9 and X. This is also shipping with version 3.2 of REALBasic.

Omnis Studio Dam.

The development of the data access module (DAM) for Omnis Studio has continued this past month. Not only have enhancements been made to the build for Mac OS, but this month has also seen the released of a DAM for Win32. The current version of the DAM is 1.1 b15 and is available from support. If you would like a copy of this then please mail us at

Web Objects 5.0 Plug-in.

A beta version of a plug-in for Web Objects 5.0 is now available. This can also be found in the tools section of our download page. You can find more details of this in this months 'Hot Topic' section.


Ongoing development work has also continued on our JDBC and ODBC drivers. The current JDBC driver is Version 1.17, and the current ODBC driver is currently on build 25. If you don't have the latest drivers installed, then you can also find the latest version on our web site. As usual we recommend that you use the most recent version wherever possible.

Hot Topic

There were certainly a few topics to choose from this month. Based on the recent worldwide developers conference and the work of our drivers team we thought that we should feature the new plug-in for Web Objects 5.0. As mentioned in the 'Driver, Plug-ins and Dams section' a beta version of this plug-in is now available for download. FrontBase is the first outside vendor that has provided a solution for Web Objects 5.0. The adaptor supports all of the features of EOModeler, such as table creation, schema synchronization, and reverse engineering of models. The adaptor also customizes table maintenance statements for SQL92 compliance.

The full release version of the adaptor is scheduled for later this month, and will be bundled with the FrontBase database software on its release.

Customer Support

Aside from the day-to-day issue of providing direct technical support, we are now starting to add and improve documentation and generally start providing more proactive customer support. This month has seen not only the release of this newsletter, but also the release of our first technical notes and FAQ's. These deal with issues such as; diagnostics, licensing and backup strategies. Expect to see additional documentation on a monthly basis.

On a general documentation issue, we were made aware of a problem with the FrontBase User Guide PDF. The download was missing several pages. This has been rectified, but we would recommend that you check that you do not have the problem version of the PDF.

Tell Us What Your Doing

This is a section that we would really appreciate your help with. We would like to know what you are doing with FrontBase, all the gory details. What Front end you are using, what operating system, why you choose FrontBase, how you implemented your development and what you think of the performance? Each month we will feature and reward the best case we get sent. Please mail your contributions to

Technical Tip

Stored Procedures in FrontBase

When it is necessary to use stored procedures the process within FrontBase is simple.

To create one you could use FBManager.

Select a schema in the 'Editor' tab pane and choose the Management>>Create>>Procedure menu item. The 'Create schema object' window will appear after which point you can name the procedure, fill the body in, specify parameters and edit it. Creating and Editing stored procedures is also outlined in the FrontBase Users Guide available from our homepage

It must be considered that using stored procedures and functions will make it more difficult for you to be database server independent in general. Some good information pertaining to Persistent Stored Modules can be found in a highly recommended book by C J Date and Hugh Darwen ('A guide to the SQL Standard'). If you have any other questions please mail us at

This tech tip will be the basis of a full technical note that is due for release in the next few days.